Bad hard drive?

My Vista 64 bit Toshiba laptop is unable to boot. It goes to the screen that says Microsoft Corporation with the green bar that scrolls left to right and sits there for a few minutes, then goes to a black screen.

When I try to run a Ghost boot disc, or a Vista repair disk from NeoSmart, the same thing happens.
I am able to boot a memtest86 disc, it found no errors.

I am trying to determine if the hard drive is bad.

I've looked for a hard drive diagnostic from Fujitsu, the drive manufacturer, but it is only ATA and this is a SATA drive. It says there is no hard drive installed.

I tried the Hitachi diagnostic but it gets partially through the load process from its boot disc, and then just sits there.

Does anyone have a suggestion how to check this hard drive before buying another one? If the problem is elsewhere, then I will just buy another computer.
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  1. I suspect that if you can't boot from the HD and you can't boot from the CD/DVD drive (is that the Ghost / Neosmart disk format), then the machine is hosed. Either of these should boot up without a usable HD.

    What actually happens when you try to run the Ghost boot disk? If you get the Microsoft screen with the annoying green progress bar, then you aren't booting from the CD/DVD, so you have to settle that issue first.

    Let us know
  2. The Ghost disc does show the Microsoft screen as it boots. I've used this on XP through Win 7, and it shows the MS logo of the current version of Windows that is installed. I've always assumed that meant that it is accessing the hard drive in some manner when it is booting from the cd, as odd as that seems.

    I am able to boot from two other boot cds. I ran both memtest66 and the Windows Memory Diagnostic boot disk. Their programs ran fine, which seems to say the computer works ok without the hard disc.
  3. Ahh. In that case, it sounds like a fried or otherwise not-working disk. I came across the following redirect note for Fujitsu diagnostics: A better link is since Toshiba has taken over HDD support for Fujitsu:

    It could also just be that your installation got corrupted. Do you do system backups that you could restore to the OS partition of your drive (assuming OS and data are different partitions; otherwise your data would be wiped)?
  4. I replaced the hard drive. Then I was able to boot the Ghost disc. I've restored the partition and it is running well.

    But I have a new problem now. On the old drive, all the user folders, Documents, Pictures, etc, were in the second partition, the E: partition.

    When I partitioned the new drive, I re-created all those folders. But after restoring the C: image, Windows is not recognizing those user folders ie if I click on Documents from the Start Menu, nothing happens.

    If I go to Start and right click on Documents or any other user folder and select Properties, there is no Location tab. It seems like since Windows did not move the user folder to that location and mark that location as a user folder, that it is not recognizing it.

    Any ideas how to fix this?

  5. That one beats me. You are using the correct method. Community, do you need to be using an Administrator account to move My Documents?
  6. OK I fixed it. I had made an error when I created the folder structure on the second partition.
  7. WyomingKnott,
    You do if you do not directly own the files in file permissions (i.e for another user or user files from another machine).
  8. CompTIA_Rep said:
    You do if you do not directly own the files in file permissions (i.e for another user or user files from another machine).

    That's been an interesting problem for me recently. I am installing Win7 on an SSD in quad-boot with my existing HDD. The ownerships of the My Documents trees resolves to IDs that don't exist in my Win7. I create accounts with the same names, but they get different unique IDs.

    I'm kluging around this by adding ACLs as Admin in Win7. Is there a better way to do this, that will survive the same My Documents trees being used by XP and Win7 alternately?

    I think I just went off-topic.
  9. I'd probably right click on the hard drive, go into permissions, add your windows account/machine account as an administrator with full access and set to propagate downwards through all subfolder/files.
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